Over the weekend, the Toronto Maple Leafs let the other 31 NHL clubs know they were making Wayne Simmonds available in the trade market. They also indicated that the return for the 34-year-old winger wasn't as important as “doing right by the player.”
Simmonds cleared waivers on Monday, meaning he can be demoted within the following 30 days without having to pass through them again. That could prove enticing to a club seeking some short-term roster flexibility.
Cap Friendly shows Simmonds is in the final season of a two-year deal with an annual average value of $900K. He's earning $1.05 million in actual salary but would still be an affordable option for cap-strapped teams seeking an affordable, experienced depth forward.
Simmonds also carries a 10-team no-trade list. At this stage of his career, however, he's unlikely to be too picky about potential destinations if it means he can continue his NHL playing career. He's no longer among the league's best two-way forwards, but his physical style and leadership skills could still prove useful.
Mike Stephens feels it's a foregone conclusion that Simmonds could be playing elsewhere when the Maple Leafs season kicks off on Oct. 12 against the Montreal Canadiens. The question, of course, is where?
Stephens cited a rumor linking Simmonds to the Philadelphia Flyers, where he spent nearly eight productive seasons from 2011-12 to 2018-19. Sportsnet's Luke Fox cited Nick Kypreos claiming the Ottawa Senators could also have an interest. Perhaps a rebuilding club like the Buffalo Sabres or Chicago Blackhawks will come calling.